- The South African Army has been called in to assist with a bridge in Matatiele after 6 children were killed in a flash flood
- Of the 17 children that were swept away, 11 were rescued
- The community had made many requests for bridges in the past, which are crucial for the route that the local children take to school
Engineers from the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) have been deployed to construct a safe bridge in Matatiele, after a flash flood killed 6 children.
17 children between the ages of 5 and 7 were swept away from a bridge over the Mgxojeni River, near the village of Pontseng.
Out of this number, 11 were successfully saved by brave villagers, the Sowetan reported.
The children were on their way to school, Popopo Primary, when a flash flood hit a part of their commute.
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Minister of defense, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, explained that the SANDF engineers will be attending to the urgently-needed construction of a bridge over the river where the schoolchildren perished.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the South African Army is also discussing what else can be done to help the community affected by the tragedy.
“… the South African Army’s Engineer Corps has put together a team that will make a determination as to what should be done in aid of the people ... over and above the bridge to be constructed,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
"This team of engineers has been building bridges in the rural Eastern Cape for a while now‚ therefore share a special bond with the northern part of the Eastern Cape."
The Matatiele community is in shock, as is the school attended by the children.
Members of the town had previously made requests for upgrades to the bridges in the area.
Popopo Primary Principal, Karabo Hantsi, said between tears:
"I am devastated to lose six children at once. This is such a disaster. The entire school community is in shock and in mourning."
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